The commitment to Yiddish language instruction underwent change during the history of the secular Jewish afternoon school in the United States. Although founded by shared the common conviction that the Yiddish language carries with it the necessary elements of Jewish group identification. This case study shows that these non-religious schools introduced instruction relating to Jewish culture and tradition and reduced the effort expended on Yiddish instruction. English was increasingly used in the classroom, and the Yiddish proficiency of descendant generations of immigrants diminished. The tensions that developed between the goals of teaching language and transmitting cultural knowledge are correlated with Jewish historical developments during the twentieth century. This case study illustrates factors that influence the circumstances in which ethnic language is taught in the ethnic group school.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language